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Every October the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines if the 65 million US citizens who depend on social security will receive an increase in benefit payments. The SSA uses a set formula to see if a cost of living adjustment (COLA) is needed.
Recently, the SSA officially announced there would be no COLA for 2016. This does not come as a total shock, because the SSA board of Trustees published a report earlier this year that strongly hinted a COLA would not be happening in 2016.
This is the first time in five years a COLA has not been issued. Social Security benefits have risen less than 2% over the past three years, climbing only 1.7% in 2015.
The SSA cited slower inflation due to falling gas prices as reasoning for not approving a COLA. According to the SSA calculations inflation has actually fallen .6% over the past year.
Critics of the decision claim the metrics used to make the decision are unfair to recipients of disability payments. The average consumer is benefiting from low prices at the pump, because gas is typically a large portion of the budget for someone who drives to work everyday. Disability recipients who are unable to work and therefore do not drive to work everyday, do not benefit from cheap gas very much.
Medical costs, which have increased much faster than inflation, tends to dominate the budget of a social security recipient.
If you need help acquiring Social Security Disability benefits, contact the West Virginia Social Security Lawyers of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. We will fight for the benefits you deserve and make your claim or appeal process as smooth as possible.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law